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UPW ad takes Yelp review out of context

On Aug. 12 the United Public Workers union published a full page in The Maui News claiming since Kaiser took over Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula and Lanai hospitals, “quality care and safety have suffered” but offered no data to support this claim. Instead, the ad listed sentences of four posts from yelp.com of individuals describing MMMC experiences.

The first post, describing the emergency room, stated “It was like a third world country” was a five-star review given by the writer, five being the highest rating. The review stated the ER was appalling as “There was a terrible accident . . . people were screaming in agony” while the writer’s husband waited seven hours to be admitted. (According to Yelp, the average ER waiting time at MMMC is 32 minutes.) After admission, “the care he received was wonderful,” the nurse and aid “were amazing,” “all the doctors were great” and the post ended with “Thank you to everyone at the hospital.”

UPW’s ad claims “Kaiser is driving away many of its most qualified staff” but does not provide any stats to support this claim. Is staff turnover from July 2017 to July 2019 greater or less than other two-year periods? How many were retirements, left for better positions, fired, or were driven away? Until the UPW supplies accurate information about its claims, its ad can be dismissed as a cheap shot.

I am not a Kaiser employee but have had Kaiser Permanente coverage on Maui for 40 years and always received excellent care.

William Ogle

Makawao